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Commentary Last Updated: Feb 20th, 2007 - 01:05:10

War against Iran: A view from abroad
By Jeffrey S. Victor, Ph.D.
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Feb 20, 2007, 00:41

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The view from France about the possibility of President Bush actually engaging in a military strike against Iraq is that he would have to be �crazy� to do so; and that he is probably only threatening Iran.

I respond to French friends by saying that President Bush is probably going to attack Iran and that, yes, he is crazy. By that I mean that he is psychologically disturbed; with characteristics of a �messianic� personality, out of touch with reality and in denial of any harmful consequences of his actions. I don�t say that flippantly, but seriously, as someone with professional training in psychology. He is the most dangerous president that our country has ever had.

Curiously, most French people have a more charitable view of Bush�s character, seeing him as a cynical, calculating liar, and stupid, but quite rational. But, the French are generally skeptical of any altruistic claims from politicians, especially any politician claiming to be religious. They can recall from their history lessons in school that Henry IV, a Protestant who defeated the Catholics in the religious civil war, converted to Catholicism to become recognized as the legitimate king. They can recall how Napoleon Bonaparte, an atheist, had himself crowned by the Pope as emperor of France. I haven�t yet met a French person who believes that Bush is sincere in his strange, fundamentalist religious beliefs.

Years ago, just before the American invasion of Iraq, I mentioned to a salesperson in my hometown, that President Bush is lying about the causes for war with Saddam Hussein. I will always remember the sadly naive response from this kindly woman. She said that �Bush wouldn�t lie, because he is a Christian.� Perhaps, Americans need to be much more informed about world events, and a bit more skeptical of any politician who wraps himself, or herself, in an American flag and under a Christian cross.

The signs are there of a planned attack on Iran. The information is available in the alternative press and on Internet websites. Several huge aircraft carrier attack fleets were sent to the Persian Gulf many weeks ago. Special new anti-missile rockets have been sent to the Middle East as a defense against possible Iranian attack missiles aimed at American ships.

The Israeli government has been urging the Bush government to bomb the Iranian atomic energy research sites with special new �bunker-buster� bombs. Foreign sources report that the Israeli government gave the Bush government a kind of ultimatum about two months ago; that if the U.S. doesn�t do it, the Israeli Air Force will do the job, with the lesser technology that they have available. The case for Israel is that atomic bombs aimed at Israel, by a hostile government that preaches their extermination, is a life-or-death matter.

Unfortunately for we Americans, Bush�s �messianic� personality does not allow for subtle and complex tactics to deal with dangerous circumstances. He sees international relations in black and white terms of �good� (meaning us) and �evil� (meaning any nation that challenges us).

The French have already been vilified by the Bush government, merely by cautioning Bush against his plan to attack Saddam Hussein�s Iraq and refusing to join in the misadventure. The French government advised that Iraq would likely descend into a chaos of ethnic civil war. Too bad Bush didn�t listen.

Jeffrey Victor is a sociologist who lives in France during the winter months. His wife of 41 years is a French citizen.

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